Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer Guest post: Natalie Elphinstone

Natalie Elphinstone is a 30-something mother of two beautiful girls from Melbourne Australia. She works full time as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist but still finds plenty of hours to play with pretty paper too. Natalie is currently a Studio Calico Creative Team Member and a Scrapbooking Memories Master. She blogs at

“Speedy Scrapbooking” by Natalie Elphinstone

Hello everyone! I’m waving madly with excitement at you all the way from Australia, as I’m feeling very lucky to be a guest here today. Thankyou Wilna for letting me take over your blog for a little minute!
Like many of you I’m a busy Mum who works outside the house and there often doesn’t feel like there’s enough hours in a day. But I love my scrapping and I always manage to find time for it. Sometimes however, that time isn’t very long and so I’ve learnt a few tricks to allow me to get a layout finished quickly whilst still enjoying the creative process. Today I wanted to share with you a couple of ways I use to speed up my scrapbooking.

Step one for me is about choosing a colour combination to work with. It doesn’t really matter what inspires the combination – whether it’s pulled from a kit, a particular collection, something I’ve pinned, or even the photo I’m scrapping. What’s important is that I’m giving myself a clear direction of what the overall feel of this layout is going to be. The colours I choose really help set the mood of the page, and this red, pink and mint tell a happy story. I don’t always need to visually represent my colour combination, but I do find it helps me focus if I actually pull out my swatch book.

Next step is to gather some supplies that match the colour combination I’ve chosen. I pull out everything I commonly use on my layouts such as papers, journaling cards, stickers and bits of bling. I include some neutral products too such as black and white papers, and some wood veneer. I found out that if I gather a reasonable pile at this point then I construct my layout using only these supplies. If I skip this step then I spend more time later hunting down that elusive pink whatever that just might be perfect, and trying out a hundred different things that I come across in the process! I particularly find if I’ve chosen my colour combination from a kit in the first place then this gathering process can be really quick as I just pick out the bits that match. For example, everything you see here comes from the Studio Calico Penny Arcade Scrapbook Kits and Project Life Kit.

Now let the fun begin! Construct your layout’s basic design however you normally do. I’ve figured out that currently I’m happiest if I use lots of layers of papers and journaling cards, but keep them all lined up with straight edges. So I stick with what I know. This also means that the design of this page is one I’ve done before in many different variations, but it’s one that I know works for me. Each time I do it though the end result looks completely different anyway because the supplies always push me in varying directions.

It might seem a little backwards to build a page like this, but I’ve always started with my layout design first, and then figured out where I need to put the background details! With this layout I realised that all my layers were focussed in the centre and my edges seemed a little bare. So I went ahead and added some colour to the top and bottom.

I chose my three Color Theory Inks that I used to inspire my combination in the first place (Well Red, Blush Crush and Mint Hint) ( ) and stencilled in a whimsical pattern of clouds.

And then essentially my layout was finished. All it needed was a title and some journaling, without which a layout of mine never feels complete.

Here’s the final page:

I didn’t put a timer on but I would estimate all of this took me under an hour to complete which is pretty speedy in my books. I’m usually a good 2-3 hour per layout kind of girl, and mostly that length of time can be racked up to the indecision that comes with facing a million choices of product. Ultimately the success of speedy scrapbooking for me comes down to limiting my choices. I can still be adventurous and I can still be creative, perhaps even more so, when I ‘force’ myself to work within some boundaries!

I would love to hear from you if you have some tips of your own on how to achieve Speedy Scrapbooking. What tricks have you learnt along the way? Is there a specific technique you fall back on time and time again? What works for you?


Danielle said...

I really enjoyed seeing how you picked your supplies and colors. Your finished layout is beautiful!

annchristine said...

Beautiful page!! I adore the clouds on the top and bottom. Thank you for sharing your process too!

Bernii Miller said...

Gorgeous layout Nat ♥

Maria said...

Beautiful page :)

judyc said...

Love to hear about other scrapper's scrapping process, especially tips to make things go quicker. Great page !!

DBMM said...

What a great page and tutorial. I always wandered how to mix and match colors and chose papers that are not necessarily from the same collection. Thanks for sharing!

Debra said...

Great tutorial and reminders on efficient use of time. I also stay with one design or layout style. It keeps my pages uniform I go horizontal and change it up by going vertical or on a right angle. In a corner.